Uttarakhand glacier burst: 32 bodies recovered, several missing, rescue efforts underway

A total of 32 bodies have been recovered after a glacier broke in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, causing widespread destruction on Sunday. 

“Machines removed more slush from the tunnel the whole night. A joint team of ITBP, NDRF, SDRF and sister agencies entered into the tunnel this morning. The tunnel is still approachable till about 120 meters. More slush and water coming from inside the tunnel,”Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) tweeted this morning.

The glacier burst triggered huge floods in the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. The flood swept away bridges, damaged homes and the nearby Rishiganga and NTPC power projects. 

CM Trivendra Rawat visited marginalised villagers affected by the Chamoli disaster.

“Rani and Lata, the marginalised villagers affected by the Chamoli disaster, went and reviewed the situation there. Visited the villagers and asked them about their well-being. The affectionate behaviour of the villagers touched the mind,” CM Trivendra Rawat said.

Over 600 personnel of The Indian Army, ITBP, National Disaster Response Force  (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in Chamoli district to carry out search and rescue operations.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday issued a statement in Parliament on the tragedy and asserted that Centre and the State Government have been keeping a strict vigil on the situation.

“Rescue operation to evacuate people is going on war footing and all out efforts are simultaneously being made for searching missing persons,” Shah said.

“Prime Minister Modi himself is monitoring the situation closely. Both Control Rooms of the Ministry of Home Affairs are monitoring the situation 24X7 and all possible help is being provided to the State,” Shah said.

On Sunday an avalanche occurred in the upper catchment of Rishiganga River, a tributary of Alaknanda River in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, which led to sudden rise in the water level of Rishiganga River. Due to flash floods on account of rising water levels in the river Rishiganga, a functional Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 MW was washed away. The flash flood also affected the under construction 520 MW NTPC Hydro Power Project downstream at Tapovan on the river Dhauli Ganga.